Khalid Ali, PhD, Henglien Lisa Chen, PhD, and Sally Fowler Davis, MEd
Competition Sponsor: UK Research and Innovation
Remaining mobile is important to older people in enabling them to participate in meaningful social, cultural, and physical activities, accessing neighbourhood facilities, and belonging to a community. The adverse impact of limited mobility in old age includes loss of autonomy, social isolation and loneliness, dependency, depression, and even placement in care institutions, with associated cost to society and economy. Following the COVID- 19 Pandemic, older people were predominantly affected by physical de-conditioning during lockdown.
ExtraCare is a UK national supported-living provider committed to improving and sustaining a healthy lifestyle in old age in their villages. We will undertake an exploratory study of the experience of some ExtraCare residents about what is wanted and needed to sustain their mobility using a wearable device. Our technology partner, CUSH company will work with study participants from 2 ExtraCare villages (Birmingham and Sheffield) to understand residents’ priorities around mobility. We seek to uncover ways where mobility is fundamentally about all sorts of movement, and not only physical exercise. Our aim is to co-create with older people and their care providers a user-friendly digital platform (application) where individual data can motivate an older person to improve their physical and mental health. We will work closely with people who are less active, over 75 years sharing with us their physical, environmental, and personal preferences.
Our work with village residents and care staff will enable ExtraCare and CUSH company to understand the fundamental requirements of a community-based digital approach supporting a healthier lifestyle in old age.